nullBy the time this eventually goes into production, both actors will be over 60 years old!

Another year, and yet another "Bad Boys 3" update that may or may not result in actual progress towards the film becoming a reality.

It looks like a "Bad Boys 3" movie is indeed closer to becoming a reality with Deadline reporting today that Sony is "in early talks" with Joe Carnahan to re-write the script, as well as direct the film.

Our last update on this was in a year ago, when one of the stars of the film, Martin Lawrence, revealed to Conan O’Brien on his late night show, that he spoke to producer Jerry Bruckheimer just prior to his appearance on O’Brien’s program, and was told that the threequel was definitely in the works. 

It previously wasn’t clear whether Lawrence was interested in returning (Will Smith and Bruckheimer both have shared interest, while Lawrence had been noticeably quiet about it), but given his conversation with Conan last summer, it looked like he would indeed be back for a third film. Watch the interview at the bottom of this post.

Screenwriter David Guggenheim ("Safe House") was penning the script for the film, which Joe Carnahan would rewrite, assuming he reaches a deal with Sony. 

This obviously means that Michael Bay, who directed the first two films in the franchise, will not be back to direct the third film.

I’d expect "Bad Boys 3" will be even bigger and *badder* than the last 2, which means that it might get expensive for Sony Pictures, with likely heftier salaries to pay (Smith and Lawrence will probably demand more money than they received many years ago for the first 2), and it may not even be worth it for the studio; unless they expect it to do really big numbers at the box office. And I don’t know if that’s a guarantee. I’m sure it’ll do well, but are Will Smith and Martin Lawrence still the box office draws they both once were, just a few years ago? 

The first film, released in 1995, was cheap at $19 million. Will Smith certainly wasn’t collecting the kind of salary he would go on to command years later; and likely neither was Lawrence. It was a sleeper hit, earning over $140 million worldwide. The budget for the second film, released 8 years later, in 2003, increased 6-fold to a whopping $130 million!!!! That film grossed about $238 million globally. Not quite the profitable film that the first one was, but still a hit.

What would the budget for a third film be, and what kind of box office can be expected? Sony might opt to go leaner on this one, with a budget somewhere between $19 million and $130 million, with an expected box office take of somewhere between $140 million and $238 million globally. I wouldn’t expect superhero movie or "Fast & Furious"-like numbers.

In essence, your guess is as good as mine.

3 years ago (talks of a threequel have been in the air for a while), when asked about the possibility of a 3rd film, here’s what Will Smith had to say: "I love making those movies… It’s Miami, the tight T-shirt and fast cars, but just at this point in my career the material has to be right. Just because it’s a popcorn movie doesn’t mean that you don’t have something to say. Then, to me, that’s hugely important. I’m forty three and I’ve got probably… I’m looking at maybe seven more years where I can run and jump a little bit and then I’m going butt and gut for the rest of my career. Butt and gut."

Trying to read between the lines there, one can say that he didn’t seem, at the time, like he really wanted to do it. At least, not unless he really digs the script, which might be why Sony wants a rewrite (it won’t be the first one). But you know what they say about scripts that have been *touched* by numerous writers…

I should also note that British actors/writers/producers Noel Clarke and Ashley Walters were developing a UK version of Bad Boys, which they first shared 2 years ago or so. No word on where that project stands, or if it’s still in the works.

Here’s Martin Lawrence with Conan talking "Bad Boys 3."